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Queens Chronicle

Help kids get organized and inspired

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Posted: Wednesday, July 16, 2014 1:00 am | Updated: 4:36 am, Wed Jul 23, 2014.

(BPT) - Between sports gear, homework assignments, mobile device chargers and social media contacts, kids have a lot to keep track of these days – just like grown-ups. While few kids seem to be born with the ability to be organized, most learn organizational skills over time. Parents are the key to instilling these practices. With the right tools, creating good organization habits in the spaces kids use the most, is easy and can help prepare them to be more independent later in life.  

“Whether your child needs help personalizing a small dorm room or making her homework station more organized, parents can do a lot to help kids feel comfortable and on track as they head back to school,” says Cyndy Aldred, who blogs about home decor, interior design and organization at TheCreativityExchange.com. “Organization and beautiful surroundings are good for your mental health – not to mention your efficiency – no matter what your age.”

Aldred and the decor experts at Kirkland’s offer some tips and tools for helping children get and stay organized this school year, without breaking the bank:

Great homework spaces

“A disorganized homework space is a sure recipe for tears and frustration, whether your child is in kindergarten or college,” Aldred says. “Keeping assignments and papers organized is key for homework success.”

Homework spaces come in many forms. It’s not uncommon for younger students to do homework at the kitchen table while Mom prepares dinner, and this can result in a crowded work and cooking space. Rather than letting crayons, papers and books accumulate on the kitchen table, or having to hunt down needed supplies every day, collect everything in a colorful Kirkland’s Kids Storage Bin. The bins are portable, so they can be stored out of sight when kids are done with their homework for the night. Better yet, when homework time comes around the next day, you’ll know right where everything is.

Space is far more elusive at college or a boarding school than at home. Usually, college students have organization forced upon them to keep the peace with roommates. Like younger students, dorm-dwellers can also benefit from portable storage bins that can be tucked under the bed when the contents aren’t needed.

Regardless of where one lives – at home or in a dorm – study habits can vary by age and personality. At times, teens and preteens may prefer the solitude of their bedroom. For desks, paper and desk organizers can keep important documents and supplies close at hand when needed.

Personalized, inspiring rooms

Just as parents strive to create appealing, organized places for study and relaxation at home, their dorm-dwelling children may need help feeling comfortable and organized in their room at college.

“Dorm rooms are notoriously bland and uninspiring,” Aldred says. “It can be a challenge to place your child’s personal stamp on a room that has housed hundreds of college kids before her – and that will house hundreds more after she moves out.”

Fortunately, it’s possible to personalize a dorm room and create a space that both comforts and inspires her. Some simple touches like small furniture pieces that do double duty and colorful wall decor can do the trick.

Space comes at a premium in most dorms, so it’s important that whatever you add is as comfortable as possible. Kirkland’s Papasan Chairs come in four hues to add a pop of color and style while providing a great place to sit while studying or socializing. A tall floor lamp with built-in shelves, like Kirkland’s Wallace Shelf Floor Lamp, adds needed illumination as well as additional storage space.

Framed prints and wall sconces brighten up plain dorm walls, while word blocks work simply to make a statement and personalize the room.

While your child’s bedroom at home is probably already more suited to personal tastes than a dorm room, back-to-school season is a great time to refresh the decor. Start out with shelves and hooks that infuse personality and color while providing extra storage for items like clothes and toys that usually end up on the floor.

Wall art further communicates individuality; whether you opt for a Kirkland’s Themed Growth Chart that’s as much fun for parents as it is for kids, choose sports-themed prints, or pick pink and purple canvas art prints that perfectly match any princess theme, simple additions to a room can make the space feel fun and fresh.

Wall decor can also play a role in showcasing your child’s personality and milestones. Pin A+ scores, drawings and other masterpieces your child creates to Kirkland’s Look What I Did Plaque. Commemorating this exciting time is just as significant as teaching organizational lessons.

For more organization and decorating ideas for kids’ and dorm rooms, visit www.kirklands.com or TheCreativityExchange.com.

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